If Luke Skywalker lived in Victorian England, this would be his hand

Seriously, if you told me to imagine what an artificial limb would look like back in Victorian England, my mind would waver between a peg-arm and a something steampunk. Yet here's this insanely awesome arm from the late 1800s, and it's real to boot.

It doesn't just look slick, either — the arm allows for a surprising amount of articulation, according to blurb on the London Science Museum website, where the arm now rests:

Made from steel and brass, this unusual prosthetic arm articulates in a number of ways. The elbow joint can be moved by releasing a spring, whereas the top joint of the wrist allows a degree of rotation and an up-and-down motion. The fingers can also curl up and straighten out. The leather upper arm piece is used to fix the prosthesis to the remaining upper arm. The rather sinister appearance of the hand suggests the wearer may have disguised it with a glove.

The museum goes on to add that amputation was common practice in those day and the most widespread cause of it was from warfare-related injuries. Want to see some more of that sweet hand? Look below for a couple of different angles.

I'll be looking right there with you. I seriously can't get over how awesome this thing looks. It's almost worth taking a crude 19th century war injury for — though you wouldn't be making any precise motions with this thing, that's for sure. It's questionable whether you could even pick something up at all.

London Science Museum, via BoingBoing

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